One thing I left out of my review last week was the Build and Buy mode in the game. It wasn’t intentional, I just completely forgot about it. I’ve been following some great Sims builders online and they’ve finally given me enough inspiration to begin building a bit more seriously now. I have to admit that towards the middle of a build I tend to start feeling ‘over it’ as it just takes so long, but many other Sims builders have the skills to be able to build awesome houses in shorter amounts of time. I’m hoping eventually I’ll get to that stage too but for now its still early days so I’ll work through it my way (slowly).
I think at this stage the build options are great but there is still room for improvement, and additional options. The above image is from a house I just recently completed. Nobody lives in it yet, I just decided to have a go at building something to it’s completed stage. At the moment, my current family, the Kennedy’s, live in a house that is not quite complete yet. Most of the walls are bare but this was deliberate as Angelina is an artist so naturally all the walls will be covered in her own work (masterpieces of course). Her son is also a creative soul so he may also paint pictures to hang around the house. Also I had created a separate playroom for their son, but now that Angelina is pregnant again, that playroom will be turned into a second children’s bedroom. So their house is still a work in progress.
Building in Sims 4 is a lot easier than in previous games. For those of us who are not that great at building but enjoy the challenge it can bring, there are styled rooms that can help you begin your creation, or you can head to the Gallery and grab a house made by Maxis or by fellow Simmers. Even if you want to attempt a build by starting from scratch, the building options are fairly simple to follow. Now, we have the options of having taller rooms, can change the foundation levels without having to rebuild the house, position windows however we want and plenty of other nifty options and tools to help create the house of your dreams.
For this particular house, I had two ideas in mind that I had to build around, a gallery kitchen – of which I’d seen a real kitchen of and had been inspired by it, and the entrance having a longer walk to it. I then had to nut out a quick design layout on some paper. Other Simmers (smarter than me) are just able to whip something out straight onto the screen and just play around with the shapes until they are satisfied. I am an impatient person (and a bit of a perfectionist) so I prefer to have a basic design worked out before I start building on the plot of land. With this house, I chose an L shape for the basic design and added onto it as I went along. I am notorious for just keeping things simple by creating boxed/squared rooms, but most homes have very few squared rooms, so I had to make something a bit more interesting. In looking at the design of another modernised style of home, I found another idea and that was to build a room that juts out slightly, and cover that in a different cladding to the rest of the home to make it stand out.
The entrance was simple to make, build a long porch with steps at the end of it. I squared off the entry way but soon discovered I was about to have a large amount of empty space in relation to where everything else was to go. Initially, the study was going to go right along the front of the house behind the porch, but because I reshaped the rooms there, it was too small and awkward so I changed it to the gym. After putting together the other room shapes, I ended up squaring off the area by the entrance and turning that square box into the study (see image above). Apart from the main bathroom and ensuite, this is the only true square room in the house.
The home gym is an awkward shape. It is long and narrow at the entrance into the room, but opens up enough to be able to support all three types of gym equipment. In placing the mirror at the end of the room, it makes it look even longer, especially the windows – they look like they’re going on and on and on! The colouring and style for the house is supposed to be neutral modern. I’ve added some interest to the rooms through decorations and using one wall as a bit of a feature. In these instances I’ve tended to lean more towards adding a wallpaper or panelling feature rather than just having a different wall of colour so that it gives a bit more texture to the colour palette. Flooring was wooden floors throughout with stone tiles in all the bathrooms. For this home I also chose to have a level 2 wall height (there are 3 in total with 1 being the regular height) for the ground floor, and a level 1 wall height for the second floor.
The main feature for me was setting up the kitchen and dining area. I had seen this warehouse designed house where on the second level was where they had this really long gallery kitchen. A gallery kitchen is basically a bank of counters and cupboards along the wall, and a bank of island counters running parallel to it. The one I’d seen was huge, and I wasn’t terribly keen on doing something so big but wanted to at least capture the essence of that style. It had a large number of cupboards which wrapped around the fridge, followed by counters and open shelving against the rest of the wall. I managed to achieve a similar style here for my sim home which I’m quite pleased with the end result. There was, however, a glitch that occurred when building this house. I had put together the kitchen so that I had the layout all set, and placed the shelves on the wall and even placed some decor up on the shelves (note there is not a lot of decor you can put on these shelves, hopefully in the future we’ll get far more options). At this point I had not yet put together the study room, and as I’d noted that that section of the house was empty, I decided to grab the wall tool and square it all off.
Shortly after I’d squared off the room, I was playing around with it a bit and then went back to top view to get a look at the shape of everything when I noticed something weird. Half of my decor items were not on shelves anymore. In fact, in turning off the top-down view, I discovered that the 3 counters next to the stove had disappeared completely and the decor items were all on the ground! Weird! I am still not sure what caused that to happen but I kept checking it every now and then (especially before I uploaded to the gallery). Now a cool new design option to note is that there are far more options for placing counters and cupboards to previous versions. When in buy mode, and clicking on the counters, you will notice that there is an Auto Counters box that is usually crossed when you first begin playing the game. In clearing the box you now have far more options available to you. You can create rounded corner counters, or angled corner counters; you can choose varying heights for your wall cupboards with some great designs. The only down-side at the moment is the lack of kitchen counter options. The ones I used were the industrial styled counters and cupboards, and even then the colour options were very limited. (Apologies for the grid being still on the images, I have not gotten used to the camera controls etc for the Sims 4 game so hopefully I can take better screenshots in future.)
From the image above of the living room, you can see some cabinets along the wall, but notice that they don’t have that usual counter ‘lip’ at the back? This is because these are not counters but upper cabinets that have been placed at the bottom of the wall instead. Unfortunately you can’t place anything on top of them as they’re not proper counters but they still look quite good. I got this tip from a fellow Simmer. The far tall cabinet is one of the options you have available to you when you switch off Auto Counters. I made use of the walls behind the cupboards by building more shelves, splitting them up and putting them at different heights for a bit of interest. The fireplace was also something I wanted to build into the home so I created the wall specifically for it by using a room tool. There are various tools to use when building such as the wall tool, room tool – which can be square, triangular or octagonal, and a few other options including creating a rounded balcony or patio (no, you can’t build a rounded wall yet but hopefully that will become an option soon).
Well that’s the end of Part 1 – in next week’s post I’ll continue this house build and focus on the decorating and landscaping aspects of this house and my experiences with it.